The older we get, the more frequently we step back and look at what has been accomplished in our lives. Hopefully, there will be more moments that we are proud of than there are regrets. I consider myself one of the luckiest people on the planet because more and more of the things in my life that could have been regrets keep turning into moments of indescribable joy.
Being young with a strong sense of right and wrong, I left home to become a high school agriculture science teacher. The career choice was even more fun and rewarding than I imagined. But the city grew up around my school and society had become so litigious that my courses were all but confined to the four walls of a classroom in only 10 years. I decided to move on before going to work became an unpleasant chore.
A career in computers seemed attractive at the time and I spent many weekends and long hours studying with one of my best friends. What little expertise I gained got me hired as a technology specialist in a small school district, but that job only lasted a year. The next stop was lecturing and advising students on the college level. That was the one I thought would last a lifetime. Unfortunately, my sense of right and wrong took over again and I declined to do something that I thought was unethical. My department head wanted a yes-man, so he found one to take my place.
I was wondering recently whether large blocks of my time had been wasted doing things that didn’t amount to much when the following message appeared out of the blue:
Howdy Dr. Daniels. Hope you and yours are doing as well as possible this year. Just wanted to check in. I got to telling some good bull Aggie stories to my brother-in-law last night and thought of you. Thanks for being the helping hand I needed back then. It’s been a roller-coaster ever since, but I’ve never once doubted or been shy about being a Poultry grad from TAMU. I have so many folks from Aggieland to be grateful for, but you were the first to roll the dice….and I truly appreciate it.
With each passing year I hear from more former high school students, former college students or a client thanking me for something I can’t even remember doing. You can see why my regrets are few and far between – and continue to decrease in number as the years roll on.